Friday, April 8, 2011


Composition of
drafting committee
for LokPal Bill


In recent past, corruption of monumental proportions rocked the country. It has gone beyond what any Richter scale can record. The scams which came to light appear to be too less compared to the scams which are under the carpet still.

People of this country very strongly feel and sense - that lot more scams are under the carpet and will never come out. There are too many people pushing it deep under the carpet.

The Government has indicated several times in recent past that Coalition Politics tie its hands in many ways. That may be, to some extent. 

But, this cannot be trotted out as reason in respect of scams engineered by ruling party men. There are no coalition compulsions there. The overall, general atmosphere in the country is full of stinking corruption. We see it in the corridors of power, in the play grounds, on the streets, in the Police stations, and in the rising prices of ONIONS !!

But, there are areas of cleanliness too. Within the Government, there are many men with clean Image. In the principle opposition party of BJP, in the left parties etc, there are men with clean Image. 

But, some Politicians in some Parties justify corruption openly and indulge in it freely. In recent past, we have seen some politicians openly supporting corruption and corrupt persons, on the basis of caste, region etc.

Corruption has spread its tentacles beyond all these considerations – and must be fought by all of us with ZERO TOLERANCE.

It is in this context that all people will welcome Government’s decision to have a 10 member committee – with 5 ministers from the Government and five members from the civil activists.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said, "I am happy that government and civil society have reached an agreement to fight corruption."

The panel will now include from the side of the civil activists - (i) Anna Hazare (ii) Shanti Bhushan (iii) Prashant Bhushan, (iv) Arvind Kejriwal and (v) former Supreme Court judge Santosh Hegde.

From Government side, it will include -  (i) Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee as Chairman of the committee (ii) Law Minister Veerappa Moily (iii) Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal, (iv) Home Minister P Chidambaram and (v) Water Resources Minister Salman Khurshid as members. It is heartening that these ministers command a clean Image in public mind.

Eminent men like N.R.Narayana Murthy have also, when asked, agreed to come on the Panel. This will be a good thing if he is included too – in some capacity.

In the agreement, the government has committed itself to introducing the new Lokpal Bill in the forthcoming monsoon session of Parliament. This means, there is very little time to lose.

In an earlier post, this Blog has suggested to include two eminent men from the opposition too.

Readers can see this article under the heading :” ANNA HAZARE’S ANTI-CORRUPTION DRIVE” in the URL :

After all, including civil activists but not including opposition members looks ODD.

Prime minister Manmohan Singh is a very pragmatic and respected person known world over for his personal, clean Image. This issue of the Lok Pal Bill is of great importance to Opposition Parties too, as they were spearheading the fight against corruption in Parliament before it came down into the  streets. It is certainly heartening that civil activists succeeded so well in this issue.

But, it is also necessary to make the passage of the final Bill in Parliament  - easy and without too many further additions and deletions – after an elaborate exercise in the Drafting committee.

If opposition is excluded from the committee – the final draft is bound to invite, and quite justifiably too,  lots of changes in Parliament, delaying its final adoption. No one can guarantee that  – what the civil activists are satisfied with in the committee  – will remain in the final Bill after elaborate discussions in Parliament.

For this reason – this Blog suggests to both the civil activists side and the Government side – to expand the committee to 14 – with 7 from the civil activists side (including men like N.R.Naranaya murthy) and 7 from Parliament (5 from Government and two from opposition). I don’t think, this number is big. This number is good. 

It takes a simple decision to expand the committee to this level within an hour.

It is needed to ensure that the draft is wholesome, acceptable to all and is effective in ensuring ZERO TOLERANCE TO CORRUPTION.

More importantly, this Bill, for once, should reflect a National Consensus, and a national mood that, for all of us, Fighting Corruption is a No.1 priority issue and that Zero tolerance to Corruption is our national Motto.

I appeal to the Government and the Civil activists to take this suggestion in earnest and ensure the final passage of the Bill wholesome and trouble free.


=Vijayamohan. V

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